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23 April 2019

Swinton Lions fall short in the Easter Monday clash against Batley Bulldogs 32-18, despite a second-half hat-trick from talented youngster Matty Ashton.

Swinton Lions travelled to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on the back of their Good Friday win over Rochdale Hornets, but it was Batley who took victory despite an impressive second half from Matty Ashton.

A stunning second half hat trick from Matty Ashton and a great fightback from the Lions just wasn’t enough to claim the points as the home side scored when they needed too to win the game.

Bulldogs played down the slope in the first half and managed to score three tries and hold a sixteen point lead at the break.

Sam Wood opened the scoring on six minutes when Johnny Campbell made the break down the left to feed his centre who scored near the posts and Dave Scott added the conversion. Six minutes later James Brown, Jack Downs and Dom Brambani combined to send Louis Jouffret over for the second try and Scott again converted.

Bulldogs second row man Downs was sent to the sin bin on twenty-three minutes for a late shot on Rob Fairclough, but the Lions could not capitalise from the penalty and Fairclough was hit late again three minutes from the break when he was knocked out cold and had to be taken from the field by the doctor and was unable to return for the second half having failed the head test and losing his place on a possible trip to Toronto.

Bulldogs made a good start to the second half when Sam Smeaton weaved his way through some poor tackles to score but Scott could not convert this one. The Lions hit back on forty-eight minutes when Ashton latched onto a Jack Hansen pass to score and Oscar Thomas added the conversion. Bulldogs hit back on fifty-four minutes when Brambani put a kick through for Wood to grab his second try but again no conversion from Scott.

The Lions were launching attack after attack on the Bulldogs line and Ashton side stepped his way through for his second try four minutes later and again Thomas converted. Ashton then completed a superb hat trick on sixty-two minutes when he took a Thomas pass to score by the posts and Thomas added the conversion to put his side within six points of the Bulldogs with eighteen minutes left.

Bulldogs made the game safe with nine minutes left when they launched a high kick towards the Lions line and Harry Aaronson could not take the swirling ball and from the resulting scrum Jouffret finished off a passing movement with a try on the left and the conversion from Scott just sneaked over for the points and with five minutes left Scott added a penalty goal when the Lions were caught offside.

Full time: Batley Bulldogs 32-18 Swinton Lions.

Ian Rigg reporting from Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.


Bulldogs: Scott, Reattlie, Smeaton, Wood, Campbell, Jouffret, Brambani, Taira, Butterworth, Everett, Downs, Brearley, Brown.

Subs: Bienek, Bretherton, Ward, Galbraith.

Tries: Wood (6′,54′), Jouffret (12′,71′), Bretherton(32′), Smeaton (44′)

Goals: Scott 4/7

Sin Bin: Downs (37′) Late Tackle

Lions: Hansen, Butt, Williams, Lloyd, Ashton, Thomas, Fairclough, Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton, Shelford,Halton, P.Jones.

Subs: Brickhill, A.Jones, Kenga, Aaronson.

Tries: Ashton (48′,58′,62′)

Goals: Thomas 3/3

Referee: Liam Moore

HT: 16-0 FT: 32-18

Photo credit: Emily Parker


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